Activation of GPR39 with TC-G 1008 attenuates neuroinflammation via SIRT1/PGC-1α/Nrf2 pathway post-neonatal hypoxic–ischemic injury in rats

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Neuroinflammation




Background: Hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a severe anoxic brain injury that leads to premature mortality or long-term disabilities in infants. Neuroinflammation is a vital contributor to the pathogenic cascade post-HIE and a mediator to secondary neuronal death. As a plasma membrane G-protein-coupled receptor, GPR39, exhibits anti-inflammatory activity in several diseases. This study aimed to explore the neuroprotective function of GPR39 through inhibition of inflammation post-hypoxic–ischemic (HI) injury and to elaborate the contribution of sirtuin 1(SIRT1)/peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α)/nuclear factor, erythroid 2 like 2(Nrf2) in G-protein-coupled receptor 39 (GPR39)-mediated protection. Methods: A total of 206 10-day-old Sprague Dawley rat pups were subjected to HIE or sham surgery. TC-G 1008 was administered intranasally at 1 h, 25 h, 49 h, and 73 h post-HIE induction. SIRT1 inhibitor EX527, GPR39 CRISPR, and PGC-1α CRISPR were administered to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. Brain infarct area, short-term and long-term neurobehavioral tests, Nissl staining, western blot, and immunofluorescence staining were performed post-HIE. Results: The expression of GPR39 and pathway-related proteins, SIRT1, PGC-1α and Nrf2 were increased in a time-dependent manner, peaking at 24 h or 48-h post-HIE. Intranasal administration of TC-G 1008 reduced the percent infarcted area and improved short-term and long-term neurological deficits. Moreover, TC-G 1008 treatment significantly increased the expression of SIRT1, PGC-1α and Nrf2, but downregulated the expressions of IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α. GPR39 CRISPR EX527 and PGC-1α CRISPR abolished GPR39’s neuroprotective effects post-HIE. Conclusions: TC-G 1008 attenuated neuroinflammation in part via the SIRT1/PGC-1α/Nrf2 pathway in a neonatal rat model of HIE. TC-G 1008 may be a novel therapeutic target for treatment post-neonatal HIE injury.







PubMed ID